SF Indie Screenplay Competition
2020 season now closed


For 21 years the San Francisco Independent Film Festival has developed a great reputation for filling theaters, getting press, and throwing great parties. Films at our fest regularly get Variety reviews, picked up at other fests, and find rabid groupies following the makers around town demanded autographs and buying them drinks.

This is our third year hosting a screenplay contest with the goal of expanding our filmmaker reach. We're so excited to invite screenwriters to participate in the festival and we'll be promoting them right alongside our films. Participants will enjoy live reads, parties, panels, film screenings and more!

Some feedback from competition participants: 

"I believe you have identified my weaknesses that I have a difficult time seeing on my own,,, you did a nice job!" - Russel J

"...winning this festival helped me to secure a producer to finance the production of North Star...." -PJ, 2019 SF IndieFest Screenplay Award Winner

"I can’t thank you enough for your feedback and encouragement. Everything you’ve put in will help get this right. My experience is military and police work so I know breaking into the film world is tough so I appreciate everything you have gave me and I have the patience to get this right. " - Andrew K

"Thank you for the excellent coverage. Your notes are very helpful and well conceived. They are very much appreciated! It seems like most of the notes I’ve gotten simply tell me about my story- hence, not very helpful. The explanations and examples you provided really help steer me to a hopefully better rewrite. " - Tom F


Winning Shorts and Features length writers receive:

  • Delegate Badge to the Festival 
  • Staged reading of scenes from their scripts 
  • Recognition at the festival's Screenwriter Party 
  • Print and media coverage 
  • Name inclusion in Festival program materials as a competition finalist


  • All submitted material must be original, and all rights must be wholly owned by the writer(s). 
  • Material must be submitted by the writer. Material written by writing teams must be submitted by one of the writers, with consent of the other(s). 
  • Substitutions of either corrected pages or new drafts of the entered material are not allowed. Please proofread your script very carefully before submitting. 
  • All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders. 
  • All persons from anywhere in the world are eligible; however the material submitted must be in English. 
  • Feature screenplays longer than 125 pages will not be eligible. 
  • The festival or any other partner, employee or agent associated with this contest claims no ownership nor first right of option to any original screenplay submitted to this contest. All ownership and rights to the scripts submitted to this contest remains with the original rights holders until and unless other agreements are made. 
  • Except where prohibited by law, participation in the contest constitutes each entrant’s consent to the festival and its agents’ and contest sponsor’s use of entrants’ names, likenesses, photographs, and/or personal information for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of a entrants’ information are in accordance with our Privacy Policy. 
  • BY ENTERING THE CONTEST YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THESE CONDITIONS. You agree to release and hold harmless the festival, its partners, its subsidiary, parent and affiliated companies, prize contributors, judges, screenplay readers, sponsors, and any other organizations responsible for administering, advertising or promoting the Contest, and every one of their respective members, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) past and present from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to damages and negligence to property and persons, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, copyright, infringement of trademark or other intellectual property rights relating to a participant’s Entry, participation in the Contest and/or acceptance or use or misuse of Prize; provided however, that such release will not apply to any commercial exploitation of the script by a Released Party in violation of your rights under applicable copyright law; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless the festival and its partners, sponsor, agents and employees from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys fees) relating to an entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or entrant’s use or misuse of Prize. Employees of the festival and their immediate families are ineligible to participate in this contest. Any such submission will be immediately disqualified. ENTRY TO THIS CONTEST IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED or restricted by any Federal, State or Local law. Voided entries will be refunded. Recipients’ eligibility will be verified before the grant is awarded and the winner may be required to sign an affidavit of eligibility.